2015-16 Report on Plans and Priorities

Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Organizational Profile

Minister:

Deputy Head: William F. Pentney

Ministerial portfolio: Justice

Year established: 1868

Main legislative authorities: Department of Justice Act

Organizational Overview

Raison d'être

The Department of Justice has the mandate to support the dual roles of the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Canada.

Under Canada's federal system, the administration of justice is an area of shared jurisdiction between the federal government and the provinces and territories. The Department supports the Minister of Justice in his responsibilities for 51 statutes and areas of federal law by ensuring a bilingual and bijural national legal framework, principally within the following domains: criminal justice (including youth criminal justice), family justice, access to justice, Aboriginal justice, public law, and private international law.

The Department also supports the Attorney General as the chief law officer of the Crown, both in terms of the ongoing operations of government and of the development of new policies, programs, and services for Canadians. The Department provides legal advice to the Government and federal government departments and agencies, represents the Crown in civil litigation and before administrative tribunals, and drafts legislation.

Responsibilities

The Department of Justice was officially established in 1868, when the Department of Justice Act was passed in Parliament. The Act sets out the roles and responsibilities of the Department as well as those of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

The Department of Justice fulfills three distinctive roles within the Government of Canada. It acts as:

  • a policy department with broad responsibilities for overseeing all matters relating to the administration of justice that fall within the federal domain - in this capacity, it strives to ensure a fair, relevant, and accessible Canadian justice system for all Canadians;
  • a provider of a range of legal advisory, litigation and legislative services to government departments and agencies; and
  • a central agency responsible for supporting the Minister in advising Cabinet on all legal matters.

The Department of Justice has approximately 4,500 dedicated, full-time equivalent employees. Some 58 percent of Justice employees are located in the National Capital Region. The other 42 percent provide a strong national presence through a network of regional offices and sub-offices positioned across the country.

Just over half of departmental employees are lawyers. The other half comprises a broad range of professionals, including paralegals, social scientists, program managers, communications specialists, administrative services personnel, and financial officers.

Strategic Outcomes and Program Alignment Architecture

  • 1. Strategic Outcome: A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System
    • 1.1 Program: Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
      • 1.1.1 Sub-program: Legal Policies and Laws
      • 1.1.2 Sub-program: Justice System Support
        • 1.1.2.1 Sub-sub-program: Criminal Justice and Legal Representation
        • 1.1.2.2 Sub-sub-program: Victims of Crime
        • 1.1.2.3 Sub-sub-program: Youth Justice
        • 1.1.2.4 Sub-sub-program: Family Justice
        • 1.1.2.5 Sub-sub-program: Aboriginal and Northern Justice
        • 1.1.2.6 Sub-sub-program: Justice in Official Languages
    • 1.2 Program: Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime
  • 2. Strategic Outcome: A Federal Government that is Supported by High-Quality Legal Services
    • 2.1 Program: Legal Services to Government Program
  • Internal Services

Organizational Priorities

Priority

To ensure that the justice system continues to enhance the personal safety and security of citizens through criminal laws, policies, and programs

Type[1]

Ongoing

Strategic Outcome and Program

SO 1 – A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System

Program 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework

Description

Why is this a priority?

  • Complex social issues, domestic and international threats, changing demographics, rapid technological advances, and the increasingly global nature of justice issues have an impact on the way the justice system addresses personal safety and the security of citizens.
  • The development and advancement of criminal laws, policies and programs through consultation and collaboration with various stakeholders and communities will help to advance the fairness, relevance and accessibility of the Canadian justice system.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

  • Working with provinces and territories to identify emerging issues and implement reforms for improving the justice system, thereby enhancing personal safety and promoting prosperity within communities throughout Canada.
  • Continuing to lead the interdepartmental National Anti-Drug Strategy which focuses on preventing, treating and combating illicit and prescription drug abuse.
  • Supporting programming for those who want to leave prostitution, taking a comprehensive approach to assisting victims of sexual exploitation and protecting Canadians from the harms of prostitution.
  • Advancing a robust criminal law legislative agenda to hold offenders accountable.

Priority

To support victims of crime

Type

Ongoing

Strategic Outcome and Program

SO 1 – A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System

Program 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework

Description

Why is this a priority?

  • Enhancing support for victims of crime involved in the justice system contributes to the Government's objective of ensuring that Canada is a country where the rights of criminals do not come before the rights of victims.
  • The participation of victims of crime and the consideration of their needs in policy development strengthens the criminal justice system, thereby enhancing public confidence and contributing to ensuring a fair, relevant and accessible Canadian justice system.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

  • Implementing the Victims Bill of Rights Act in partnership with criminal justice stakeholders to advance access to information for victims, increase victim participation, establish complaint mechanisms to address breaches of victim rights, and expand access to restitution.
  • Continuing to implement the Federal Victims Strategy to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system through legislative, policy and program initiatives.
  • Supporting activities and providing resources for carrying out the Action Plan to Address Family Violence and Violent Crimes Against Aboriginal Women and Girls.
  • Continuing to provide grant and contribution funding to the provinces, the territories, and non-governmental organizations to support victims of crime through the creation or enhancement of services.
  • Continuing to implement policy and program initiatives in support of Child Advocacy Centres to better meet the needs of child victims.

Priority

To support the Government of Canada's priorities through the delivery of high-quality legal services

Type

Ongoing

Strategic Outcome and Program

SO 2 – A Federal Government that is Supported by High-Quality Legal Services

Program 2.1 – Legal Services to Government Program

Description

Why is this a priority?

  • The Department of Justice is responsible for providing legal services to the Government and to federal departments and agencies in support of the Government's short- and long-term policy and programming priorities.
  • In its role as a central agency responsible for supporting the Minister in advising Cabinet on all legal matters, the Department works to ensure compliance with Canada's legal framework in order to preserve public trust and confidence in the integrity of the justice system.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

  • Defending the constitutionality of laws aimed at safeguarding families and communities.
  • Responding to challenges to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in various areas including labour and employment legislation, the regime for access to marihuana for medical purposes and criminal law reforms.
  • Providing legal services to help implement initiatives that support a strong and stable Canadian economy, such as the removal of barriers to trade between provinces and territories, the Northern Strategy and the Beyond the Border Action Plan, as well as the regulatory framework for the Safe Food for Canadians Act.
  • Providing advisory and legislative services to client departments and agencies to help them implement Government priorities, including the Economic Action Plan 2014 and other initiatives announced in the 2013 Speech from the Throne.
  • Implementing commitments from the recent Legal Services Review in collaboration with client departments and agencies with a view to improving the delivery of legal services government-wide and ensuring the fiscal sustainability of those services in the long term.

Priority

To manage organizational transformation in support of business and legal excellence

Type

Ongoing

Strategic Outcome and Program

SO 1 – A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System

SO 2 – A Federal Government that is Supported by High-Quality Legal Services

Description

Why is this a priority?

  • Responsible expenditure management is a cornerstone of the Government's Economic Action Plan, with a freeze of operational budgets announced in the 2013 Speech from the Throne.
  • Renewal priorities established by the Clerk of the Privy Council emphasize the need to provide better services to Canadians at a lower cost through transformative activities such as collaboration, innovation, streamlining of processes, and fostering of a high-performing and adaptable work force.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

  • Working with central agencies to implement the Government of Canada Information Management/Information Technology (IM/IT) Modernization Agenda for IM/IT solutions such as Email Transformation Initiative, network and data centre consolidation, as well as the adoption of common systems, including case management, human resources and financial management systems across the federal government.
  • Leveraging Blueprint 2020, and the Department's Information@Justice Strategy as catalysts for digital business transformation and implementing the Canada School of Public Service enterprise-wide learning approach for the public service, the Common Human Resources Business Process, and Pay Consolidation. These activities will be undertaken in support of government-wide transformation activities aimed at achieving efficiencies, streamlining business processes, and providing business excellence.
  • Continuing to support the implementation of measures stemming from the Legal Services Review as part of the Department's commitment to strengthen cost containment and expenditure management, and to improve legal service delivery.

Risk Analysis

Key Risks
Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to Program Alignment Architecture
Responding to new and emerging policy priorities –The broad scope and complexity of the justice system pose ongoing challenges for timely policy and program responses.
  • Continue to monitor, research and analyze emerging trends to inform forward planning.
  • Conduct regular departmental planning sessions to promote information sharing and coordinated consideration of key policy issues.
  • Provide succession planning and knowledge management-activities.
  • SO 1 – A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System
  • P. 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
Maintaining partnerships necessary for policy and program development and delivery – Relationships with essential justice system partners and stakeholders could weaken if not actively maintained.
  • Maintain a close dialogue with all partners (other federal departments, provinces and territories, and non-governmental organizations).
  • Continue to develop and implement stakeholder engagement plans for funding programs.
  • SO 1 – A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System
  • P. 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
Meeting evolving demands for legal services – Unanticipated changes in the volume or nature of legal service requests, as well as changes in law practice management, could impact the Department's ability to deliver effective and fiscally sustainable services.
  • Collaborate with client departments and agencies, including joint planning to meet government priorities and manage legal risks in a cost-effective manner.
  • Continue to support professional development of legal staff.
  • Continue to develop and enhance supporting tools and processes (e.g. litigation support services).
  • Refine the Department's service delivery model based on findings of the recent Legal Services Review (LSR).
  • SO 2 – A Federal Government that is Supported by High-Quality Legal Services
  • P. 2.1 – Legal Services to Government Program

The effective management and monitoring of key corporate risks will support the implementation of the Department's priorities in 2015-16.

Given that the administration of justice in Canada is an area of shared jurisdiction, the Department's stewardship of the Canadian legal framework requires close collaboration with the provinces and territories. The Department must also work with a broad range of stakeholders, including other federal departments, non-governmental organizations and international institutions. At times, relationships with these essential partners may be affected by the need to balance expectations and interests. An additional complexity, in the current era of electronic information and connectedness, is heightened expectations for rapid responses to emerging issues.

To manage these risks, the Department will continue to monitor emerging trends to inform its forward planning and maintain policy responsiveness. This will include conducting regular policy-focused planning sessions. The Department will also continue succession planning and knowledge-management activities to foster the proper knowledge, skills, and expertise to readily navigate within this complex operating environment.

In its role as a provider of legal advisory, litigation and legislative services to other federal departments and agencies, the Department must maintain appropriate delivery capacity to meet legal needs. This capacity is largely contingent on the recovery of costs from clients. Risk may be created as clients adjust priorities, particularly if there are unanticipated changes in the volume or nature of their legal service requests. The Department's ability to meet service demands may also be affected by changes in law practice management and the increasing volume of electronically stored information.

To address these risks, the Department will continue to focus on joint planning with clients, including sharing information on the effective management of legal risks, the triggers and costs of legal services, and the appropriate role of legal counsel. The Department will also continue to actively support ongoing professional development for its legal staff. In addition, the Department will continue to develop and enhance supporting tools and technologies, as well as enhance digital processes. These activities will be informed by the recent Legal Services Review (LSR) to improve the delivery of legal services across government. The LSR has been undertaken to manage the demand for legal services and to ensure the fiscal sustainability of those services in the long term. Over the next two years, the Department will work to refine its service delivery model based on the findings of this review.

Planned Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015–16
Main Estimates
2015–16
Planned Spending
2016–17
Planned Spending
2017–18
Planned Spending
673,866,874 711,733,149 674,072,609 634,852,812

Note: Financial Resources for Planned Spending are based on Main Estimates and exclude respendable revenue. In addition, estimated amount of Paylist requirements for all three years and the approximate amount of Operating Budget Carry Forward for 2015-16 are included in the planned spending.

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015–16 2016–17 2017–18
4,474 4,420 4,420
Budgetary Planning Summary for Strategic Outcome(s) and Program(s) (dollars)
Strategic Outcome(s), Program(s) and Internal Services 2012–13
Expenditures
2013–14
Expenditures
2014–15
Forecast Spending
2015–16
Main Estimates
2015–16
Planned Spending
2016–17
Planned Spending
2017–18
Planned Spending
Strategic Outcome 1: A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System
Program 1.1: Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework 424,204,889 382,305,605 384,347,562 393,390,464 394,638,847 388,913,386 350,048,906
Program 1.2: Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime 1,178,161 1,195,444 1,254,727 1,320,994 1,320,994 1,320,994 1,320,994
Subtotal 425,383,050 383,501,049 385,602,290[1] 394,711,458 395,959,841 390,234,380 351,369,900
Strategic Outcome 2: A Federal Government that is Supported by High-Quality Legal Services
Program 2.1: Legal Services to Government Program 191,992,179 191,292,725 164,576,113 192,604,324 198,250,530 186,770,969 186,770,967
Subtotal 191,992,179 191,292,725 164,576,113 192,604,324 198,250,530 186,770,969 186,770,967
Internal Services – Subtotal 116,607,619 162,247,090 153,477,787 86,551,092 117,522,777 97,067,259 96,711,944
Total 733,982,848 737,040,864 703,656,189[*] 673,866,874 711,733,149[*] 674,072,609[*] 634,852,812[*]

Note: Excludes respendable revenue. In addition, estimated amount of Paylist requirements for all three planning years and the anticipated amount of Operating Budget Carry Forward for 2015-16 are included in the planned spending.

[*] Differences may arise due to rounding.

As indicated in the above table, the Department of Justice’s forecasted expenditures are $703.7 million and $711.7 million for 2014-15 and 2015-16 respectively. These spending figures are net of the Department’s Net Vote Authority, which allows the Department to collect and spend revenue for the delivery of legal services from other government departments. The $8.0 million variance of expenditures between 2014-15 and 2015-16 is primarily attributable to the following major factors:

Under the Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework, the planned increase in spending is primarily explained by the new funding in support of non-legislative measures to address prostitution and that 2015-16 planned spending is based on the assumption that total budgetary resources will be spent. It is offset by the sunsetting of other programs (i.e . the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women Initiative and the Security Certificates Initiative ̶ the management of security inadmissibility cases under section 34 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and cases requiring the protection of information pursuant to Division 9 of the IRPA, as well as the pursuit of enhanced assurances against torture). Budget 2014 announced $25 million in new funding over five years beginning in 2015-16 to “continue efforts to reduce violence against Aboriginal women and girls” and funding will be made available through 2015-16 Supplementary Estimates.

Under the Legal Services to Government Program, the increase in planned spending relates mostly to collections from the delivery of legal services to other government departments and to the distribution between Program Activities. These amounts are offset by the sunsetting of the Security Certificates Initiative.

Under Internal Services, the reduction in Internal Services is primarily attributable to:  the fluctuations in departmental expenditures such as severance pay, vacation credits payable upon termination of employment, parental benefits; the sunsetting of the mentioned above initiatives; the transfer to the Canada School of Public Service for the enterprise-wide approach to learning; the transfer for the Human Resources Modernization Initiative; and the Government of Canada’s transition to new payroll practices.

The Department has Net Vote Authority (NVA) of $296.2 million with a corresponding offset to the Operating Budget. The NVA included in the Main Estimates is notionally distributed between Program Activities of Legal Services to Government and Internal Services. The actual revenues collected between Program Activities could vary depending on numerous factors such as the Legal Service Rates approved by the Treasury Board annually and the actual amount of revenues collected over or below the authority (as per the TBS Guide on Financial Arrangements and Funding Options, departments may spend up to 125 percent of their authorities in revenues received for related costs).

Alignment of Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2015-16 Planned Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework ($ Dollars)
Strategic Outcome Program Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2015-16 Planned Spending
SO 1: A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System Program 1.1: Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework Social Affairs A safe and secure Canada 394,638,847
Program 1.2: Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime Social Affairs A safe and secure Canada 1,320,994
SO 2: A Federal Government that is Supported by High-Quality Legal Services Program 2.1: Legal Services to Government Program Government Affairs Well-managed and efficient government operations 198,250,530
Total Spending by Spending Area (Dollars)
Spending Area Total Planned Spending
Economic affairs 0
Social affairs 395,959,841
International affairs 0
Government affairs 198,250,530

Departmental Spending Trend

As depicted in the chart below, the Department’s total planned spending is expected to increase in 2015-16 to $711.7 million from a forecast spending of $703.7 million in 2014-15. In fiscal year 2015-16, the Department plans to spend $354.9 million on Grants and Contributions and $356.8 million on Operating Expenditures, and expects to receive $297.8 million in revenues. As the primary provider of legal services to other federal government departments and agencies, the Department of Justice has Net Vote Authority to collect and spend revenue for these services. For the purpose of departmental reporting, these respendable revenues reduce total departmental authorities and expenditures. The total amount in respendable revenues is expected to decrease by $2.0 million for a total of $297.8 million in 2015-16.

Departmental Spending Trend Graph

(Thousands of dollars)

Departmental Spending Trend Graph

  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Sunset Programs - Anticipated 0 0 0 9,522 16,736 55,996
Statutory 78,287 83,175 83,469 77,169 75,753 75,545
Voted 655,696 653,866 620,188 634,564 598,319 559,308

Description

Note: The funding associated with programs that are sunsetting are not included in planned spending, but rather shown in the above graph to demonstrate the impact of Sunset Programs funding over the three-year planning period.

In fiscal year 2015-16, the increase of $8.0 million in spending, from $703.7 million in 2014-15 to $711.7 million in 2015-16, is primarily attributable to the funding in support of non-legislative measures to address prostitution and that 2015-16 planned spending is based on the assumption that total budgetary resources will be spent. It will be offset by the sunsetting of the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Security Certificates Initiatives and by the implementation of the horizontal review of legal services. However, Budget 2014 announced $25 million in new funding over five years beginning in 2015-16 to “continue efforts to reduce violence against Aboriginal women and girls” and funding will be made available through 2015-16 Supplementary Estimates.

Estimates by Votes

For information on the Department of Justice Canada's organizational appropriations, consult the 2015–16 Main Estimates on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website.


[1] Type is defined as follows: previously committed to—committed to in the first or second fiscal year prior to the subject year of the report; ongoing—committed to at least three fiscal years prior to the subject year of the report; and new—newly committed to in the reporting year of the RPP.

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